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Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by robert, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Very nice piece Robert. Scarlatti has so many gems like this; an under-rated composer. I like the warm tone of the piano. The hard part is having a good piano - no worries there. I do agree with the others that you can improve the sound in terms of noise - that's the easy part.

    If you're concerned about hiss, here are some tips:
    1. If the hiss you're hearing is for the first time, then it's probably an inadvertent setting on the mic gain.
    2. Are you using internal mics? if so, they're notoriously noisy and there's not much you can do about it short of altering the beautiful tone of the piano though the use of EQ.
    3. The type of mic can cause noise too - back electret mics are noisy.
    3. If you're using an external mic, then check the 3.5mm mic jacks - can form oxides and produce noise. Clean them with 70% alcohol and a Q-tip.
    4. Check your mic, and cables, batteries in the mics, etc.
    5. As far as swooshing/pumping sounds in the recording - turn off the Auto Gain switch. Set your levels manually according to the loudest passage.
    6. Don't use Audicity for editing software because the moment you start editing, adding GVerb, EQ, etc. it introduces artifacts. I only use it to download it into the computer, then export it to another editing program like WaveLab, SoundtrackPro, Sonar, etc. The least expensive software offering full edit capability is the Adobe Audition.
    7. Record in .wav if possible - less audible digital artifacts and higher fidelity of high frequencies.

    As far as mechanical noises from the instrument is concerned, keep the mics raised in the air 5-6ft high, and about 3-5ft away from the strings as a starting point. Try to keep the mics away from walls as nearby reflections will compete with the direct sound of the instrument.
     
  2. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    It sounds like a heavy rain storm but unless you listen to it in a really loud volume (I never do), you must have another setting in your ears than I have. As soon as the music starts, I forget about the hiss.

    Don't you ever listen to old recordings from Glenn Gould or Horowitz (from 40th 50th)? And if so, how on earth do you survive that if that's the case? The hiss there is 10 times the hiss in my recording but still, the music is so wonderful that it's a must to listen to. Take this recording for instance:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-KyL2gMxV8

    It's the best of Bach's BWV1052, concerto in D minor recording ever!

    But I will try out new settings so that the noise it less from the beginning. I have the mic gain on high but cannot remember the input level right now. About 12-14 I think.

    Here is a fixed recording where I have eliminated the hiss, made some EQ and added som reverb. Unfortunately, the noise reduction deforms the sound and I hate that more than the hiss. Do you think it is better?
     
  3. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks for the tips.

    I used a everything in one recorder and that is probably part of the problem.

    Long time ago, I used microphones and a mixer and recorded it back to a computer but it was always a hassle to get everything ready for a recording, but the sound quality was much much better. I'll check in the basement to see what I have.
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    In modern portable mp3 recorders the mics are of decent quality, if not comparable to good externals of course.
    They do produce some hiss (you can hear it in my recordings too) but it should never be as much as in this recording.
    Or is yours a very old recording device ? Then invest in a modern one like the Tascam DR-D1, Edirol R9, or Zoom H4.
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    No :!: This is positively awful... Wobbly, recessed sound and strange distortion.
     
  6. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I thought so too.

    My recorder is an Edirol R-09 and no matter how I place, record levels I chose, there is this constant noise in the background. If I set the input volume to a lot higher, meaning that piano gets much closer to the amplitude peak value, then the noise is lower in comparison to the music...in this piece. Most other pieces have a lot higher amplitude meaning that the input level I could chose for this piece would not be the same as for something else.
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    That makes me think there is something wrong with it. Not even my old Edirol R-1 generated THAT much noise. Maybe you should contact Roland support, or the shop where you bought it.
     
  8. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Yeah maybe there is something wrong with it...bought it like 5 years ago though. You used a Tascam right?

    Anyway, I made a new recording and set the input level up as much as possible. Got a bit better right (see the initial link to the recording on the site)?
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Yes that is better. I'd be happy to take this as a compromise though the hiss is still louder than what is normally acceptable.
     
  10. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Maybe this version is better?

    Special version ;).
     
  11. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    It is when I switch on to silent mode and take the signal from the headphone connector. So yes, it is digital.
    But I ran it through EQ first and added a bit reverb. Maybe it is better to have it like this until I have bought myself new recording equipment.
     
  12. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Why does previous post look like it is Monica writing it while it's in fact me?!?!
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Because... you clicked the 'Edit' button instead of the 'Reply' button. I do that sometimes too. Goes with being an admin :)
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    That's funny! :)
     
  15. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    :mrgreen:
     

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